Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

High-Tech Simulation Labs

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

High-Tech Simulation Labs

Article excerpt

Attending a vocational high school started Keyli Panduro's passion for the medical profession. While in college, she became an EMT. Then she declared her major-nursing. "I wanted to deal more with patient care and have more connection with my patients as opposed to just curing them as a doctor would," Panduro said.

With her EMT training, she chose to transfer to William Paterson University in New Jersey because the nursing program had diversity, a good reputation and technology.

"There's a lot of technology already in the health care field," Panduro said. "We have to stay on top of it." As an EMT, she explained, there are cameras in the ambulance. A doctor can see patients' faces and can treat them virtually. "With technology, if we treat patients faster, they can live longer."

The 22-year-old Panduro couldn't have timed her transfer to William Paterson more perfectly. Hands-on labs and state-of-the-art technology were about to enhance the already-reputable nursing program at a whole new level.

The program already had a strong foundation. About to celebrate its 50th anniversary in March, enrollment is at 500 students; more than 300 are undergraduates, 140 are in the master's program and 22 students are earning their doctorate. More than 50 make up the nursing faculty.

In January 2016, the grand v opening of the 80,000 square foot University Hall breathed new life to the nursing program. University Hall, a two-story, glass-filled building, complete with an atrium, and a Speech and Hearing Clinic for diagnostic and therapeutic services for the community, also relocated the Nel Bolger, RN Nursing Laboratory. It added two updated patient simulation laboratories and a control room to provide enhanced clinical training, three nursing basic skills labs and four additional nursing simulation labs.

"They're very sophisticated," said Kathleen Waldron, president of William Paterson University. "You rould think you're in a hospital room. Students would have to take turns learning how to handle patients. Now they get more lab time. They get more time before stepping into hospitals."

Waldron explained that funding for the state-of-the-art building came from the New Jersey "Building Our Future" Bond Act. The university chipped in $10 million to the $30 million from the state. Not since 1988 had there been such a bold move for construction. The first priority had to go toward a science and health focus since that would also benefit those related professions in the state. It was a win-win for the university and the community at large. It seemed everyone was on board to make the project a reality.

"It took eighteen months to build, we finished on budget and six months ahead of schedule," Waldron said. Even in the coldest of winters the construction crew worked to make this happen, so doors could open for the spring semester, she said.

More than 300 state and local officials attended the event. Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno addressed the crowd, saying, "We all know in New Jersey health care is going to be the top provider of jobs. What will happen in the building is not only going to serve the community through its clinics, but it's going to help people all over this state in a way you can't put a dollar value on."

Dedicated to the health and sciences, such communication disorders and public health, as well as the nursing program, approximately 5,000 students use University Hall. …

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